The Work of Louis Rota

1. A certain telluric currents ?

(a) Courant électrique induit par une bobine tournante
(b) Rota detector

Quote from the UK and French patents (GB129059,FR536324) « Improved means of signaling the presence of mines »

II have discovered that there are certain telluric currents or earth currents which produce in the earth telluric magnetic vortices. The presence of intensity of these currents is shown when they encounter a magnetic or paramagnetic body however small it may be. Due to this fact it is possible to recognize the presence of a mine, submarine, ship or other magnetic or paramagnetic body..

A good starting point is the common telluric current known to physics. Even today there are many features of it which are poorly understood. One source of the telluric current is thought to be due to movement of large quantities of salt water as happens in ocean currents moving across the geomagnetic field of the earth. Another source is from solar storms causing fluctuations in the earths magnetic field which in turn induce electric currents to flow in the earth’s surface. Lord Kelvin, 90 years ago, suggested that rotation of the earth in its non-uniform magnetic field as the possible source of earth currents. According to the Rota’s notes he originally thought telluric currents were produced internally within the earth itself. The magnetic fields these telluric currents produce mix with the common north-south field producing a complex field pattern.

There is another possibility: is the magnetic field of the earth fixed in space or does it revolve with the earth? It is not possible to tell by simply putting two metal rods some distance apart in the ground and measuring the voltage between them with a meter because precisely the same voltage would be induced in the meter leads and the meter would measure nothing. This is equivalent to considering the earth as a homopolar generator with the earth itself revolving in its own magnetic field. Bearing in mind the non-uniformity of the earth’s magnetic field a complex pattern of telluric currents would flow which would be linked in a complex way to the magnetic field of the sun and the effect of solar magnetic storms. We then have a puzzle, why did not Rota use a simple revolving coil as detector which would be an effective magnetometer instead of an axially revolving solenoid:

Conventionally, rotation of a solenoid would only produce an output current if magnetic flux threading (fig. a) it changed and so axially revolving it would produce no current (fig. b). Rota was well aware of the laws of electromagnetic induction so it is supposed that he discovered that the solenoid worked by accident, not by any application of known electromagnetic principles.

2. The approach of Louis Rota

Fig. 10 Un des premiers appareils de Rota, Cet objet octogonal  est constitué de deux cadres concentriques en bois revêtu de tôle de fer.
Fig 11 Boussole de Rota. Le haut à droite a une aiguille aimantée ordinaire pivotée au centre. A noter les marquages N,E,S,W sur la plaque ainsi que les 8 petits blocs multi-métalliques verticaux (un manquant).
Vue de dessous de la boussole. On peut voir des plaques de différents métaux tels que le plomb, le cuivre, le x, le x, le zinc, etc., disposées par ensembles de cinq. A noter également le télescope.

Rota also says:

Having devoted long years to the study of cosmic currents I have been lead, little by little, to verify that these currents have nothing in common with currents of the earth’s magnetic field but have an existence of their own.

The universal current operates in living organisms and this is another factor that takes the universal current out of the ordinary, indeed, when life ceases the currents in a cadaver are without reaction on the synchronized metal test apparatus. In this sense synchronization is the process of bringing metal to life because a synchronized metal acts on the test apparatus in a similar manner to the response of a living organism.

Rota stated that electricity is formed from five currents. The electric component consists of two currents and the magnetic component from three. Electric current does not react with the test apparatus and is therefore dead, so electric current is a degradation of the universal currents. Rota also says that they are of cosmic origin, but one wonders if he is talking of the ultimate origin in the sense that all metals are composed of universal currents which are cosmic in origin or is saying that the act of making electric current attracts these five cosmic forces from space.

If the component universal currents originate from the metals such as in a simple two metal and electrolyte battery, then the electric current would be different depending on the metals which sourced it. Physical instruments detect only the pressure (volts) and current (amperes) or the quantity of electric charge (coulombs) and are blind to any hidden content or variable.

In conventional physics the electromagnetic field originates from moving and static electric charges. Because Rota’s experiments were geophysical and concerned with magnetic anomalies it is worth giving an idea of the present day orthodox view of the earth’s magnetic field.

The Earth's magnetic field is a sum of several contributions including the main (core) field, the crustal (anomaly) field, and the external source (magnetospheric) fields. The core contribution dominates the field from the Earth's surface up to about four Earth radii.

Beyond four Earth radii, the Earth's magnetic field is increasingly affected by the solar wind interaction with the Earth's magnetosphere. The distortions can be described by several external source fields caused by magnetospheric current systems. One can identify three main current systems in the undisturbed outer magnetosphere:

  1. a current system on the magnetospheric boundary (magnetopause);
  2. a current system in the neutral sheet of the geomagnetic tail (the surface that separates two lobes of the tail);
  3. a current system around the Earth (ring current) flowing in the equatorial (minimum B) surface.

During geomagnetic storms and sub-storms, substantial changes occur in these systems, in addition to the appearance of field-aligned currents flowing out of and into the ionosphere.

It is reasonably clear that at least some of the disturbances mention by Rota are seen today in geophysical observations, particularly extra low frequency signals (ELF) however the main body of his discoveries regarding the universal current do not fit well into the present day geophysical observations. In my opinion, the origin of the universal current is to be found not in the magnetic B field which affects a compass but in some other form of magnetism. One such possibility is the magnetic vector potential which is undetectable by the usual electromagnetic methods. Until quite recently the magnetic vector potential was regarded as a mathematical fiction, useful for calculation but having no physical reality. Aharonov-Bohm experiment showed that the magnetic vector potential is real. Nevertheless, a magnetic vector potential requires an electric current or spinning electric charges as a source. The electric currents flowing the earth are the telluric currents induced by solar activity or internal currents within the earth’s crust. Another possibility depends on whether the earth’s ordinary magnetic field is fixed in space or revolves with the earth, if it is fixed the earth revolves in its own magnetic field inducing electric potentials (Faraday homopolar generator effect)and hence electric currents in the earths crust. We could not measure this potential because the measuring instrument also have identical potentials induced in them because they are fixed on the earth. Such currents would take a large variety of paths due to differing ground resistance and also differing magnetic intensity at various places etc. which would fluctuate on a regular daily basis as the earth rotates in its fixed field. Although we could not detect the potentials which cause the potentials we could detect the magnetic effects of the currents caused by these potentials. This fits in well with Rota’s hypothesis as stated in his patents

There are certain telluric currents that produce in the earth magnetic vertices. The intensity of these currents is revealed when they meet a paramagnetic object.

For this reason it seems to me likely that that this was the path Rota originally took in his initial experiments 90 years ago.

An ordinary electric current as produced by a common dynamo will not synchronize a metal so, if we adopt this hypothesis, there must be something special about the earth’s magnetic field and the electric currents it induces. To accord with Rota’s findings, there is an additional variable present in earth currents which can “awaken the latent energy of the metal” which is what synchronization is.

Another interesting idea is that the universal current is a current of neutral magnetic charge. Magnetic charges (magnetic monopoles) have been searched for by particle physicists but have never been found. The great physicist Paul Dirac found that its existence was sufficient to cause the quantisation of electric charge. Particle physicists believe that if they exist they would only appear in very high energy experiments and would not occur free in nature. If they do exist free in nature why are they not readily detectable. One reason for this could be that the magnetic charges exist as magnetically neutral pairs or groups of equal N and S pole charges forming a neutral magnetic current.

There are indications from experiment that something similar has been detected firstly by Ehrenhaft and recently by Mikhailov when very fine dust particles are illuminated by a bright light source. The light is needed to give the unipolar magnetic charges which are formed in pairs. Mikhailov seems to think this only happen with iron particles whereas Ehrenhaft found the same effect also with copper particles. The interesting thing is that light seems to have the effect of revealing a sort of magnetic charge which ordinarily is not detectable. Matter is outwardly electromagnetic, (the nuclear components only appear under more extreme conditions) and the magnetism around magnets and coils of wire carrying an electric current are caused by spinning electric charge or electric charge in motion.

In this respect the universal current is analogous to a piece of soft iron in which the magnetic domains are randomly orientated and so has no external magnetic moment, but if placed in an external magnetic field domain alignment causes the iron to temporally turn into a magnet. Figures 10 and 11 certainly suggest that something similar happens with the universal current, we could expect that like iron the universal current is magnetizable, although it has no magnetic moment of its own. The N-S magnetic field of the earth would align components of the universal current but it would not be possible to separate the effects due to the earth’s magnetic field from the additional effects caused by the universal current. It was only when Rota discovered the that universal current has different components was it possible to separate these components out from the effects of the earth’s magnetic field.

3. Atmospheric effect on metals

Shema de l'experience
LGV Rota claimed that the atmospherics or statics in radio sets was due to the metals of the radio set and antennae responding to the "Universal Currents". Using a tape recorder and an oscilloscope, I was able to compare the effects of the atmospheric electromagnetic signals on several metals. Are these variation nothing but a random phenomena totally explicable with with physical properties of the metal?
  1. Some ground produces nothing except 50Hz hum.
  2. To work without a cassette recorder, either the metal probe or a metal block connected in series with the probe needs activating. I do not know how to do this activation. Your father had a method which he kept secret. His portable block with the Roman numerals on was used as an amplifier.
  3. The current indicators in Louis Rota’s note book such as +9 IV 46 V+ etc. are reactions on the potable block. The IV is the number of the plug on the block box. 9 is probably the number of reactions heard in the headphone.
  4. The currents pulse in a rhythmic manner.
  5. Did Louis Rota use any electronic amplifiers? Probably not.
  6. The oscilloscope pictures above are taken from the cassette recordings. There is a background of 50 Hz which requires filtering out. It was probably for this reason that your father moved from Rouen to Genissieux

4. Neon detector

  • R1 is 1 Megohm
  • R2 is 100 Kohm
  • R3 is 100 ohms
  • CX1 is 0.02 microfarad

Here are some simple experiments which show the basic elements of Rota’s patents using a simple electronic device. I call this the neon detector.

This circuit will show the fields that surrounds heavy objects in motion. It was originally discovered over 65 years ago by T.B Franklin and J.C. Maby. They found that they could detect aircraft and trains many kilometers away. At the beginning of WW2 it was investigated by the UK Government as an aircraft detector, but when radar was developed it was abandoned.

It is operated something like a Geiger counter.

Adjust R2 to maximum ohms and gradually turn R1 from zero until the just neon starts firing as heard in the phones as a clicking noise. Reduce R2 until the clicking becomes irregular.and adjust R1 until click rate is about 1 per second. Reduce R2 until just above where the clicks start to appear in groups. If no click occurs reverse polarity of the neon.

Some 85A2 are better than others for this detector.

Go to an uninhabited area as far away from human habitation as possible. Mount the detector on a tripod and run a car with the engine off down a gentle slope toward the detector. You will notice bursts of click at fixed distances from the car and places where the click rate is reduced between. The car in motion appears as though it were surrounded in zones at fixed distances from it. This can be readily computerized. It seems clear that there is an ambient field which is disturbed by heavy objects in motion and the effect is as though the obect were surrounded in spherical ripples of many metres wavelength. Before WW2 J.C. Maby found that aircraft could be detected a great distance away and trains 12 Km away. Remember there was much less motor traffic and aircraft at that time so it was easier to clearly see these effects than today.

It seems that there is an ambient field disturbed by heavy objects, especially paramagnetic objects such as cars. This is essentially what Rota was saying detecting and what the neon is detecting.

There are many unknown effects detected with this device. For example a vertical steel rod has four fan shaped beams radiating from it in N,E,S,W direction (fig. b).

5. Ground-radio

Additionally there are experiments done by various people with earthed radio antennas. In theory these should not work at the frequencies received/transmitted but they do except that the reception/transmission shows a strange variability. There are a number of internet sites devoted to ground radio. Rota seemed to start by transmitting radio signal through the ground using an induction coil and presumably a spark-gap system as used in early radio by Marconi. I suppose he must have noticed that signals sent through the ground from earthed metal probes radiated differently in different directions. From his notes it seems that he did a lot of work on the ship detector the patent of which is shown above. It is assumed that the directional effects of transmission through water persisted. In addition the directions were found to be metal dependent. By moving the detector around the transmitter at some distance away it will be found that the signals transmit better in some directions than another.

Around 1919 Rogers and Jones had patents from ground radio communication.  Below are some of the diagrams from these patents. They are very close to the experiments that Rota was doing.  Rota evidently found that putting a block of metal in the transmitting circuit slowly improved the transmission in a given direction and this was what he called synchronization. It would seem likely that the very high voltages used in spark transmission contributed to the improved radiation from the metal due to something close to ionic diffusion from the metal.

A.R Heaver who published the “Layman” articles about Rota quoted above in full said that Slade (Layman) had mentioned that Rota said that metal ore deposits “grew” in the ground from the universal current streams. Mines, where a metallic ore was extracted usually had  the universal current associated with metal of the ore in the vicinity. This idea suggests some sort of ionic stream which over geological time deposits a metal.

Another thing, which points in the direction of some sort of ionic flow is seen in the Medical work Rota did with Dr. Kresser. Detection of the universal currents in a human being are by action on a metallic test piece, all the vital functions are ionic in nature, so here is a parallel between the ionic state and the universal current.

6. Listening to the Rota's effect

img 1
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I made the experiment in 1960.

When I first started to listen for Rota's currents on the block dug up from his laboratory site in 1959, I heard nothing with headphones or with any other means. Someone pointed out that when Rota did medical diagnosis, see Medical Applications, he stroked metal rods held in the patients hand. I tried a similar thing using metal disks as shown below. I heard several variations in click intensity when one of the phone contacts was touched on the metal but soon found that this was caused by sampling 50 Hz mains pick up from the house wiring. Doing the same in a remote area showed a variation especially if a short antenna was used. It was found that the click was due to the high inductance of the high impedance headphones storing a minute input current and releasing the stored energy as an inductive click as soon the contact was broken. Variations found were due to ultra low frequency signals of the order of 0.01 Hz or less. Note that Rota used a stop watch, as seen in the photograph on the main page of this site, so the variations he was hearing must have had a long cycle time.

This experiment needs doing with two sets of deeply buried insulated metal plates separated by some meters. Again it needs a site a long way from 50/60Hz mains wiring to be effective. The great benefit of this method is that it is totally passive, with no electronics to give spurious leakage currents.

It is worth repeating what is mentioned elsewhere on this site[1]:-

Maxwell's equations lead to the prediction of electromagnetic waves in a vacuum, which are transverse (in that the electric fields and magnetic fields vary perpendicularly to the direction of propagation)However, in a plasma or a confined space, there can exist waves which are either longitudinal or transverse, or a mixture of both. Rota' universal current propagates in a conductive medium such as salt water and the earth which for these purposes is a plasma.

For this reason the universal current is most likely a largely magnetic longitudinal wave which can only exist in water or the earth. This would also explain how Rota's patented "Means of detecting Explosive Mines.." (L.G.V.Rota patents) in which the field produced by a paramagnetic body entering the field of a telluric current produces a shock or turbulence detectable by his apparatus. It would seem reasonable to assume that a ship interacting with the very low frequency mostly magnetic telluric current field would have circulating currents induced in its hull and these would be detectable at a distance with a compass needle.

A "Rota effect" ?

Rota did not use any electronic equipment, only a stop watch and a high impedance headset connected to a ground or/and aerial antenna network.

What we call the Rota's effect is not the well known background noise, neither the usual clicks produced when connecting / disconnecting the headset to an antenna: it is the fact that under certain condition, the clicks occur when then should not

Description of the experiment

  • Image 1
    • One set of headphone
    • two soft iron disks
    • One plastic or Bristol paper disk
    • A few inches of electric wire
  • Image 2
    • A wire is soldered at one disk. The three disks are then staked together like a capacitor
  • Image 3
    • Prick quickly the superior disc with the free wire while listening attentively with the headphones.

The observation

Sometimes it is possible to ear a small "click " in the helmet when the wire touches the disk. Occasionally there are “good” series (3 to 4 clicks on 10 picks), sometimes nothing happens during ten picks.

The clicks appear in variable manner:

  • At the moment of the contact
  • Immediately following the contact break
  • Half second after the contact break.
  • Some days, it just does not work.

Are these clicks purely random and all of them explicable by the electromagnetic laws? Apparently not. Louis Rota spent nearly 40 years listening to such clicks through more sophisticated apparatus,with astonishing results.

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